Update: ‘Volvo Recharge models gain popularity worldwide’ section updated with new sales data.
The next-generation Volvo XC90 may not be the all-new vehicle fans have been waiting for. Rumors about a third-generation model have been swirling for about two years, but the automaker may unveil an improved version of the second-gen model with changes mainly to the styling and interior.
Design & Platform
The render below is an early interpretation of what the next-generation XC90 might look like. A radical design is unlikely to be on Volvo designers’ minds. The focus would be on retaining the XC90’s silhouette and its distinct design elements that have made the SUV so popular worldwide. Expect to see a new grille, LED headlamps inspired by the Concept Recharge, and mild improvements in other areas.
Hakan Samuelsson, CEO, Volvo Cars, has hinted that the XC90 will get a second facelift following the first refresh in 2019. Volvo will not need a facelift if a third-gen XC90 is in the pipeline as previously assumed. Samuelsson said that the company would “look into upgrading” the second-gen XC90 so that “it looks a bit better,” Automotive News Europe reported on February 15, 2022. The company chief said that demand for hybrid models still exists, especially in the U.S. and China.
Volvo ‘Embla’ to run alongside the XC90 as its pure-electric alternative
Volvo Cars confirmed in 2021 that it would introduce a pure electric equivalent of the XC90 but with a different name. It emerged that the company was adopting a dual-platform strategy at that time. Reports said it is developing the ‘SPA2’ with two unique floor assemblies, one for the hybrid models like the then-rumored third-gen XC90 that partially run on fossil fuel and one for the fully electric models like the Tesla Model X rival, the production version of the Volvo Recharge Concept.
One floor is built around the flat battery with an e-machine in front and rear, very much the skateboard approach that you see pure electric vehicles are built on today. And there is another floor which is completely different, built with a combustion engine in the front, the prop shaft, an exhaust system, a fuel tank in the rear.Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars
Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars, talked about this platform with Green Car Reports in March 2021. Green said Volvo plans to manufacture the floors in parallel on separate lines, but for the ICE, it may be the current platform (SPA1) integrating a few improvements.
As per a report from teknikensvarld.se from June 2020, we learned that Volvo would offer the new XC90 in “B” mild-hybrid and “T” plug-in hybrid variants. This lineup is no different from what is available today, and Volvo is likely to update the exterior of the current vehicle for it to serve as the classic alternative to the new flagship electric vehicle.
Improved PHEV powertrain
Volvo Cars has brought a significant technical revision to the XC90 Recharge ahead of the facelift. The company has recently updated the SUV’s plug-in hybrid system to produce more power. The 2.0-liter gasoline engine driving the front wheels and the electric motor propelling the rear produced 303 hp and 87 hp. Now, the outputs have increased to 310 hp and 145 hp, respectively. Secondly, Volvo Cars has upgraded the battery pack of the XC90 PHEV, swapping out the 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack for the new 18.6 kWh unit.
The outgoing XC90 Recharge with the 11.1 kWh battery pack could manage an EPA-est. pure electric range of just 18 miles. Thanks to the 18.6 kWh battery pack, the new XC90 is a more practical daily driver, as it can travel up to 35 miles (EPA-est.) in EV mode. The pure electric range of the XC90 Recharge nearly doubled despite the driveline power increasing from 400 hp to 455 hp, thanks to the battery pack upgrade.
New Volvo XC90 Release Date
Volvo Cars could reveal the restyled XC90 in the first half of next year (in Europe) and launch it in the U.S. as an MY2024 model. As per an announcement on May 4, 2022 (via media.volvocars.com), Volvo has finalized the MY2023 XC90 for the U.S., offering new colors, wheels, interior options and Google built-in in the new car range. Customers seeking an XC90 electric or an XC90-class electric SUV would find an alternative in the Volvo Embla, which will arrive at dealers in 2023. Unlike the XC90 which is shipped from Europe, the new Volvo EV will be made in South Carolina.
The XC90 was the third best-selling Volvo car worldwide, with 108,231 units in 2021, and many customers would welcome its all-electric equivalent.
Volvo Recharge models gain popularity worldwide
Volvo Cars says that the demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles, which it markets as Recharge models, is rising. Europe, particularly, is accelerating the adoption of Volvo Recharge models. In 2021, Volvo sold 130,557 Recharge vehicles in Europe, compared to 89,951 cars in 2020, marking a growth of 45.1 percent.
Coming to the U.S., the Recharge plug-in hybrid variant may have a significant share in the sales of the new XC90. Volvo Cars says that the share of plug-in models continues to grow in the country. In 2021, Volvo sold 22,820 units of Recharge vehicles, compared to just 7,251 cars in 2020, a growth of 214.7 percent.
Impressive 2022 sales for Volvo Recharge in the U.S.
In 2022, Volvo Recharge models are reaching new heights in terms of retail sales. Total Volvo Recharge sales were up by 93% year-over-year in Q1 2022. Cumulative BEV sales in the U.S. for Q1 2022 are 1,658 units while PHEV sales stand at 4,630 units, based on the sales figures provided by Volvo Cars. In April 2022, the company sold 10,022 cars in the U.S., and 44.1% of these (approx. 4,400 units) were Recharge models, an 18% increase from the same month in 2021. In May 2022, Volvo Car USA sold 9,372 cars, of which 35.7% (3,300 units) were Recharge models.
New Volvo XC90 FAQs
What is the new Volvo XC90 release date?
The improved Volvo XC90 could go on sale next year in the United States.
Which models will the new Volvo XC90 compete with?
What will be the new Volvo XC90 price?
Volvo Cars may price the refreshed XC90 from USD 50,000 or slightly higher.
Featured Image Source: Render of the new Volvo XC90 by TopElectricSUV